Friday, October 24, 2008


I can't help it. The slow motion economic death of America pulls me in as I try to see just how bad it's going to get but then again, a guy like James Kunstler might have this bad boy covered and then some...

"To switch metaphors, let's say that we are witnessing the two stages of a tsunami. The current disappearance of wealth in the form of debts repudiated, bets welshed on, contracts canceled, and Lehman Brothers-style sob stories played out is like the withdrawal of the sea. The poor curious little monkey-humans stand on the beach transfixed by the strangeness of the event as the water recedes and the sea floor is exposed and all kinds of exotic creatures are seen thrashing in the mud, while the skeletons of historic wrecks are exposed to view, and a great stench of organic decay wafts toward the strand. Then comes the second stage, the tidal wave itself -- which in this case will be horrific monetary inflation -- roaring back over the mud flats toward the land mass, crashing over the beach, and ripping apart all the hotels and houses and infrastructure there while it drowns the poor curious monkey-humans who were too enthralled by the weird spectacle to make for higher ground. The killer tidal wave washes away all the things they have labored to build for decades, all their poignant little effects and chattels, and the survivors are left keening amidst the wreckage as the sea once again returns to normal in its eternal cradle."

No doubt we are like Ulysses trying to stay clear of the two horrors of Scylla & Charybdis as we move into uncharted waters as mysterious and foreboding as the impenetrable jungle in Heart of Darkness. The only difference is we know how Conrad's masterpiece ends but with us, the journey is just beginning.
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